By Claire West

Following the Education and Skills debate at the Labour Party Conference, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union said:

"The clear message from the Education and Skills debate was that it would be reckless folly to cut rather than to invest in education.

"Over the last few weeks of the Party Political Conference season, the NASUWT has met with thousands of parents, governors, teachers, support staff workers, councillors and others who agree that there is an alternative to the assault on education, other public services and the welfare state.

"There is a growing coalition, not of Tories and Liberal Democrats, but of those who are committed to tackling the deficit through socially responsible, just and fair strategies.

"There would be no better place to start than reversing the decision to abolish the Building Schools for the Future programme. This would not only be a major contribution to raising standards and developing the skills the country needs for economic recovery but would provide thousands of much-needed jobs for the construction industry."